Giving new life to this thread (unless there's a more robust one elsewhere that I've missed?) to give my full review on "The Sexy Vegan Cookbook." This is one of the books on my shelf that's been giving me the stink eye to use more, and I've finally cooked enough out of it to justify keeping it forever, hooray!
I like Brian's style. I'm also from Pennsylvania, and from what I can tell, we grew up eating a lot of the same things. As a result, I find his recipes very homey and comforting. I love that he includes recipes for all the meats, cheeses, and sauces he calls for in his other recipes, but at the same time, it can feel very overwhelming making four different things just to make a pizza. Is it worth it? Yeah, but it's also why I had to work a little harder to use this book.
Cauliflower and Roasted Fennel Soup - I was so worried this was a dud, until I added more salt at the end, and it just sprang to life. This was so creamy and flavorful, and pretty low in fat. Soup really is the most perfect food.
Bourbon Tempeh Sliders - Awesome! Sliders do not appeal to me as a food delivery system (they're so small) so I ate these deconstructed and they were still great. The caramelized onions were top notch.
Smoky Mac & Cheeze - I had a lot of leftover smoked cheddar sauce from the sliders, so I made this. Baked with a layer of panko bread crumbs, it was very satisfying. If I ever make it again, I would go easier on the bread crumbs.
Tempeh Bacon - Definitely use the low-sodium tamari that he calls for. I thought he was just being healthy, so I used what I had on hand (full strength) and found the end result way too salty. My bad. Having said that, I incorporated the leftovers into quite a few recipes, and as long as I wasn't eating it straight, it was good. It also freezes really well!
My Balls - Hahaaa. This is pretty indicative of his sense of humor. These are not my favorite homemade meatballs, but they were still pretty good. The seasoning was great, and these don't use wheat like a lot of meatballs do, so that's a nice change of pace. I tried reheating a few in some marinara, and they completely disintegrated, but it was a happy accident. They made a very tasty meat sauce!
Three-Cheeze Pesto Pizza - Hell yeah! The ricotta stayed fluffy, the not-zzarella sauce was nice and melty, and I gotta say, this is one of the best pizzas I've ever made at home.
Lasagna Fauxlognese - Well, now that I had all of this ricotta and mozzarella, and I needed something to do with it. What better excuse than to make what he claims to be his best recipe? This wasn't the greatest for me, but I think it was more user error. There are 5 recipes you have to make before you put this together (cashew ricotta, not-zzarella, parmesan topping, Tomato Killer, and Fauxlognese sauce) so there's lots of room to mess up along the way. I think I tripped up with the fauxlognese sauce. I cooked the tofu for the length of time recommended, but it was just too chewy and dense by the end of it. Next time, I'd start checking on it sooner. Then, I grabbed my normal lasagna pan (smaller than average, about 8x11) without registering that it should be baked in an 8x6 pan. Even though I thought the finished product was saucy enough, the no-boil noodles begged to differ, and they ended up being pretty tough. So I now have a chewy lasagna, but you know what? It still tastes great. I'd be willing to give it another try, knowing what I know now.
While I'm kind of glad to set this book aside for now (all of those recipes within recipes can get exhausting!), there are still loads more I want to try, and I'm happy to make a place for it on my bookshelf.